A school board member gave a graduation speech in which she told a mainly-immigrant class of high schoolers that they were entering a world filled with “racism, extreme versions of individualism and capitalism, [and] white supremacy,” and encouraged them to remember their “jihad” and reject the concepts of objectivity and neutrality.
Fairfax County school board member Abrar Omeish gave the keynote address at the commencement for Justice High School in Falls Church, Virginia on June 7.
The ceremony began with a ceremony in which JROTC military cadets were the only people at the graduation who wore masks.
The class president then led what she called “the nation’s anthem,” referring to the pledge of allegiance, in which she said the U.S. was “one nation under Allah.” Omeish was out of view of the camera, but a picture from another recent graduation shows her as the only person without her hand over her heart during the pledge.
The president of the student government then introduced Omeish by noting that she was “Virginia co-chair for the Bernie Sanders campaign” and that her father, Esam Omeish, was a “leader and a board member of the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center” who “raised his daughter to be an outspoken woman.”
Dar al-Hijrah is a mosque attended by two of the 9/11 hijackers as well as the shooter in the 2009 attack on Fort Hood. Its imam was Anwar al-Awlaki, who President Barack Obama ordered killed by drone strike for plotting terrorism for Al Queda. Omeish noted that her father was in attendance at the graduation. Her address seemed to herald the schools’ roles as political indoctrination centers.
“You all kicked off the first ever black history month assembly to ensure that we confront our history and answer honestly about the ills of our past,” she said. She lauded a teacher who used her access to children to encourage them to become political activists, and said that demands by students were an effective way to change school policy.
“Huge shout out to [the class president who called her a “role model”] and Ms. Corey Haynes, a teacher, for her leadership in supporting and empowering students despite the pushback. Let’s hear it for them, guys. They empowered your voice. Your model, Justice Class of 2021, moved the superintendent of the 10th largest school division in the country to follow your lead to teach with courage. And you pushed to incorporate that in the school schedule because you understand that social justice is only political for those who can afford to ignore it.”
“You understand that neutral is another word for complicit,” she said.
Much of the speech appeared designed to signal that she is unrepentant for a recent tweet in which she called Israel a colonizing state that “desecrates the Holy Land” and “kills Palestinians.”